Thursday 26 January 2023

New year knits

You might imagine that during these long dull January days I’ve spent a lot of time knitting, or maybe you know me better.  I’ve been retired 12 years now and I’m still not convinced its acceptable to spend daylight hours knitting or reading.  Additionally the local craft shop that sold some of my knitting with a charity donation has closed down so that pressure is off, MrFF says he has enough socks and there is a limit to what I can palm off on friends and family.    Before Christmas I did pass my bag of finished projects round our building asking for donations to be made direct to management towards funds for the defibrillator they intend installing here.  I raised about £70 and received some nice comments from my clientele, if not from management who are now busy arguing about where this life saving equipment should be located. Also a friend took some items and made a donation to a cancer charity.  

So I’ve been knitting from my stash, a little cotton jumper for my newest and as yet unmet grand niece Elodie.  It’s actually a very pale pink not this miserable grey it appears, blame the January light.

My current WIP is a simple lacy scarf using Debbie Bliss Party Angel which is gorgeous mohair and silk with a tiny amount of sparkle, it came from a bag of lovely yarns I was given.   The pattern is Little Leaf by Silvia Harding, a four row easy to remember repeat.

I also continue struggling with the Estuary scarf I cast on in Italy, and again many times since.  

Some days I complete less than 20 rows before losing my way, I have managed more than 100 rows then spotted an unrecoverable mistake way back and had to start again.  I now check quite regularly and am up to row 90 again. I have knit this pattern successfully several times and it’s lovely but I am beginning to wonder if my days of more challenging projects are over. I might just check MrFF’s sock drawer because right now another pair of socks would be the easiest if not a major stock reducing option that would raise my self esteem. 

Post post post - the little jumper is Queen of Hearts by Kim Hargreaves, it’s from the book Tadpoles and Tiddlers which I’ve used since 1995 for lots for lovely kiddy knits.

Sunday 22 January 2023

Beam me up

January the longest most pointless month continues to drag.  Life has been quiet and maybe not so cosy as we try to reduce our fuel demands, we are warm enough we have enough, no complaints.

So I thought I’d brighten the day by telling you about MrFF’s experience yesterday.  Not the part where he left home before 7 to meet up with his walking group, walked down to the station, got onboard and bought his ticket online to discover the train wasn’t leaving the station as there were problems on the tracks.   He walked back home to collect the car and got there in time but his eco efforts and plans for a relaxing journey were thwarted.

Anyway the group were walking through the pretty suburbs of Leeds when this passed them

The intriguing little vehicle continued down the street, they met a man and his young child waiting for it to arrive.  MrFF imagined it was a new Christmas toy, in fact it was a Co-Op grocery delivery.  You can read about it here, delivery costs very little and can be traced on an app which also opens the box.

What fun, a great saving for the environment and a solution for those not so mobile who might suddenly be out of milk.  It opens up new possibilities although we are not sure if the little starship could climb the steep hill up to our building, fortunately for now at least we can.

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Born to be wild

The marmalade is made for another year, 10 jars so I can gift some.

It must be first thing I’ve achieved in 2023 apart from eating all the remaining festive food. Although I did buy myself this leather jacket today in the Jigsaw sale, wearing this at 74 seems like an achievement too 

Friday 6 January 2023

A Moveable Feast

A week into the new year and Easter eggs are already in the shops, give me strength surely no one wants to buy these over priced over packaged items yet (or ever).  Easter is in 3 months time on 09 April. 

My morning was spent taking down the Christmas decorations and sorting information for my tax return so I was feeling cross and thought a walk to the library to collect a couple of reserved books would do me good.  My own fault I should never have popped into Marks and Spencer on the off chance they had anything I needed. I now feel crosser than ever and we agreed this year would be calm. 

Monday 2 January 2023

New Year

am glad that 2022 is over and we start a new and hopefully improved year.  We stayed up to watch the midnight fireworks standing in the rain on our balcony.  They were spectacular,  all private displays to equal anything we see in Italy, it felt joyful to see them and quite exciting as some exploded immediately above us.

Of course the aftermath of last year continues, it’s almost 6 weeks since we forked out the money for a new water supply in Italy.  Nothing has happened, at the 4th time of asking we still don’t have the documents to connect to the planned new meters though neighbours have.  Some things do not change.

The soul destroying despair at the Italian bureaucracy and life in general have been wearing, I have felt more than usual the passing of years. Physically I feel I suddenly look old and somehow smaller, diminished by the stress.  I shall be 75 in November, I’m determined not to be defeated by the setbacks and currently I am sleeping really well though maybe 10 hours is rather excessive.

Last year we lost several friends, additionally a dear friend has gone into a care home and another is battling cancer, as he said learning live with it rather than die with it.  On a brighter note we heard from a friend we haven’t seen for 19 years.  He was diagnosed with cancer and given 2 years to live 10 years ago, he is reasonably healthy, surviving. 

So I won’t complain as the lines on my face etch deeper and I won’t worry too much about the few pounds I’ve added over the festive period, my clothes still fit though I might have been a bit hasty donating some of the larger ones to charity.  I’ll take what this year brings, no doubt there will be much ranting and a lot of frustration but I’ll keep on keeping on, there is no alternative. 

I wish you and yours all good things for 2023, that the world can become a better place and that we remember to be kind.